It was more painful to see Psy-Man and Lena together than I imagined. So much so that I haven’t been able to write anything until now. The thought of even acknowledging the last few days has sent me spiraling into depression. Not even hunting zombaliens or tinkering could bring me out of my funk.
It certainly didn’t help that Psy-man has been taking pleasure in showing off. Winking at me as I’m leaving and he’s just starting. Calling me “loser” in a way that might be perceived as ‘good-natured’ by anyone listening.
He even felt it necessary to send me a chat asking why I was trying to talk to Lena. I had sent her a message, but it was to tell her that it’s okay. I wanted to be the bigger man and reassure her that I understood that what we had wasn’t serious. Tell her that, if she’s happy then, I’m happy for her.
She never replied. In fact she’s been doing her very best to pretend I don’t exist, which can get awkward during the 4 hours we work together, up until Psy-Man relieves me.
The chat message from him was dripping with smug venomous contempt for me. Carefully worded to trigger my insecurities. Some of which I had discussed with Lena in confidence. I deleted it, but it left an impression. He called me weak and pathetic for trying to reach out to his girlfriend and warned me that if I try to contact her for any reason, he’d find out.
I believe him. It’s part of the reason I don’t try to break Lena’s silence at work. He’s an expert progammer. If he’s half as good as he appears to be, he could do anything he wanted. He could ruin my life. I know he’s probably all talk, and I’m smart enough to recognize that he’s using psychology to assert his dominance. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop me from feeling like a kicked puppy.
I’m sure I’ll get over it. I always do. I just need to keep my head down, focus on my work, get lost in the bio-electronics, thoroughly analyze the system diagnostics, and tinker with whatever needs tinkering with. Luckily I only see Psy-Man at handover. The half-shift I spend with Lena is tough.
It’s a fairly small space we’re working in. Mostly she keeps to the rat habitat making sure they’re fed, have fresh bedding and are stimulated by their activities. They’re supposed to be part of the terraforming process when Hermes reaches Centauri B. The programmed activities are designed to heighten their survival skills and make them better learners.
I can only think of one reason why they’d be on board already instead of being kept earthside until we need them. Same with the arboretum full of useful and nutritious vegetation. I’ve had a lot of time to think this over while try to avoid Lena and the whole emotional mess.
We’re getting further and further from Earth every minute. There’s always man and woman working together. There’s enough life support for a family of four to live comfortably and be very well fed, and 6-8 full grown adults at a struggle. The reclaimer on board is big enough to fit a whole person in it.
I suspect that the chances of the portal gate failing and cutting us off from Earth is somewhat higher than we were led to believe. Not only that, but I’m not sure I trust that the backup portal gate in the launchable pod will function as it’s supposed to. Everything looks fine technically, but the diagnostic is run through the pod’s independent AI, Pan. The one Psy-Man designed.
I don’t trust that AI. Perhaps I’m being irrational given my current mood, but Pan often seems arrogant and condescending to me, much like it’s creator. I want to sabotage it, but I’m not going to risk all our lives because I’m feeling mopey. I’m feeling dramatic and foreboding, and I don’t like it.